Lamenting Prayers

I heard Tera Beth Leach preaching on laments by God’s people and I remembered my own recently written response to Covid from early last year to now. In a lamenting prayer I wondered what lessons we were to learn from this pandemic, violence, and division as a nation, as a community, as people of God…

I’m not sure the world or any nation or any institutions of man, even the church, can learn the lesson God intends for us in this. I think we have to learn one by one what response we will make to it all…. in the end that’s all any of us can control-our own response to the circumstances around us. And that will almost assuredly depend on our trust and obedience to God.

Trusting God, along with age and experience, seems to lead us to accepting what comes with a measure of grace sufficient to still go on and find joy in doing so…. right,?

My post that day a month ago:
“Last year as the US Covid deaths began to mount in the summer, time and time again in prayer I asked God, “How much more, Lord?” I had the sense there was a point of critical mass at which point something significant would have been learned and the tide would turn with this pandemic. We would awaken to the ways it was impacting our lives and decimating our sense of “community” and figure out the correct response. We would make sense of it all somehow. I kept waiting for some kind of indication from God that things were improving, that it would soon be behind us. But the weeks and months dragged on. One day I asked again, “Are we almost ‘there’?” I clearly felt the Lord reply not merely “Not yet,” but with more of a tone and timber like, “Not even close.” It was not long after that my husband, Bill, got sick and a week later I got sick. Then he was hospitalized and died 11 days later. I quit asking God when it would end or for evidence of improvement. The vaccines came along late in the year but one after another the months have passed and the messaging has continued with one dire warning and crisis after another. Now a year and a half later the news media are no longer reporting the daily positive tests, hospitalizations, and deaths by communities and states across the country like they were. And when they do there is generally a political slant that is at least subtly discernible. I no longer even know how many Americans have died or hear reports of how the rest of the world is faring through it now. Covid is no longer a daily monstrous impediment or even a frequent conversation in my life. It’s just that thing that changed my life so dramatically lt will never be the same. Not that it’s so very unbearable now; it’s not. There is still joy and there are things to look forward to. But whatever happens now just happens. I avoid crowds to the extent I can, but I had already begun to practice that preference several years ago.

I no longer watch for signs of improvement or wonder what lessons we are supposed to learn. I think the world will be WAY down the road from this year and a half before it sees what we are to have learned from it all, if ever. I have the sense that life has become much more complex and the dangers much less predictable than at any time in my life. I do what I can to make my remaining time here as manageable and uncomplicated as I can. But in the end, I have no control over anything more than the simplest of things in my immediate sphere of activity and influence. I can only take each day as it comes and do the best I can, trusting God to make it enough for whatever he desires.”